Pride Month: supporting your LGBTQ+ employees
This June, through celebrating Pride Month, companies have been presented with a great opportunity to champion diversity and create an inclusive environment for all employees. Taking this time to reflect and raise awareness for the Pride movement can really help LGBTQ+ employees feel understood, valued, and safe at work.
It’s important for employers to look inward at company culture, policies and values to ensure that all LGBTQ+ employees are protected both now and in the future. So, here are 4 ways you can support your LGBTQ+ employees this Pride Month, and beyond.
1. Be aware of your language
Firstly, it is incredibly important to set a precedent and have a clear stance against any discriminatory or derogatory language in the workplace, as this can have a serious impact on LGBTQ+ workers mental health and ability to feel safe being themselves around their colleagues.
We must also always respect other’s pronouns and gender identity. Using the correct pronouns, or using gender neutral language, shows understanding, respect and recognition for non-binary, transgender or gender-fluid employees. A great way to normalise pronouns is through adding this to email signatures or employee profiles. You could also encourage your employees to introduce themselves with their name and preferred pronouns to break down the stigma surrounding this.
2. Keep learning
In order to offer full support to the LGBTQ+ community, it’s important to educate yourself and your employees on the topic. Offering inclusivity training, inviting LGBTQ+ speakers to the workplace, or running workshops can really help others to understand the LGBTQ+ rights movement and increase acceptance of the community.
Take the opportunity this Pride Month to partner with your LGBTQ+ employees to really understand their experiences, share resources from inclusive organisations, like Stonewall or FFLAG, or even just email round some relevant book recommendations.
3. Support LGBTQ+ charities
Pride Month is a great time to support LGBTQ+ charities, not only showing support for your employees, but offering help and resources to the wider LGBTQ+ community too. Why not organise a charity raffle, set a team running challenge, or get everyone together and host a charity coffee morning?
Carrying these partnerships with these organisations forward, beyond Pride Month can also build strong relationships that give your LGBTQ+ employees somewhere to turn if they ever need help or information.
4. Review your Diversity and Inclusion policy
Finally, in order to ensure a supportive work environment, company policies must recognise and protect all gender identities and sexual orientations.
Take some time to review your policies, from company diversity goals or commitments, disciplinary procedures for discriminatory behaviour, right down to company dress code. Make sure these are truly representative of the LGBTQ+ communities, and try to include clear resources for all staff.
A regular audit and update of all policies can help you maintain inclusive company values and culture, and ensure that all employees feel safe, happy and supported when they come to work.